Q: I was just wondering if the man that is on "Cheaters" is Clark Gable's son.

A: According to his online biography, Clark John Gable is the grandson of screen legend Clark Gable. The "Cheaters" star is the son of John Clark Gable and the former Tracy Yarro.

As fans of the actor know, Clark Gable died in 1960 while his wife, Kay, was expecting John Clark, and so never knew his son.

John Clark and Tracy divorced when Clark John Gable was young. His bio says not only that he has a sister, Kayley Gable, but also that he has brothers Jason J. Scheff and Connor Scheff, the sons of his stepfather, Jason Scheff. The elder Jason is part of the band Chicago. And, as long as we're doing family ties, Jason Scheff is the son of bassist Jerry Scheff, who played with Elvis Presley and others.


Q: We would like to know why all television channels show the name or logo of the channel being watched in the bottom right hand side of the screen, and then they also flash across the screen what's coming up next (this sometimes covers up words that are flashing on the screen that contain content about the program you are watching). Who do we contact to complain about this as it is on all channels?

A: Blame the gazillion-channel universe, the remote control, the mass of commercials — and even those bigger TV screens.

With so many viewing choices, the logos remind people what they're watching. That helps when ratings services and marketers are trying to figure out the audience's viewing choices. And it may help viewers remember what network had that show they stumbled across while flipping through channels.

The remote control, after all, has made many of us chronic channel-hoppers between shows or during commercial breaks. And that partly explains why you see program promos and graphics during telecasts — because that's when you may not be flipping. While that has not eliminated the in-break promos, it does help networks use the break time for commercials. But there are already so many of those (about a third of every TV half-hour goes for ads), that the in-show promos might spare us slightly from longer breaks.

Finally, because TV screens keep getting bigger, at least for home viewing, the clutter of logos and promos still lets you see around them enough to follow a show. Sort of. Unless, of course, the things already mentioned are joined by news crawls and local weather maps.

'Sherlock' is on the case

Q: Is there going to be a fourth season of the British show "Sherlock Holmes"?

A: The series "Sherlock" starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman will be back in 2016. First up is a "Sherlock" special on Jan. 1. The special, called "The Abominable Bride," puts Holmes and Watson in London in 1895. In addition to being telecast on PBS, it will be shown in some movie theaters on Jan. 5 and 6. The theatrical showings also will contain bonus material.

E-mail rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com.